Well – finally – on the record – the gross unfairness of the way the Government funds schooling in Haringey. Just briefly – we get about £1183 less per child than neighbouring boroughs like Camden, Hackney and Islington. That is around £35 million a year – or more importantly – if we got fair funding we could have 1021 more teachers (we have 1500) that is 15 per school. Imagine the difference that would make.
You can watch the debate at http://www.parliamentlive.tv/Main/Player.aspx?meetingId=4948 it starts about two thirds in if you scroll along.
I was so pleased that local school governors, parents, Haringey NUT and the Schools Forum came to actually watch the debate in Parliament. We were also the lead story on BBC London – which is great – because all of this is about not letting the Government sideline Haringey in the current Review of our Dedicated Schools Grant. They ignored the unfairness last time and in fact increased the problem – widening the gap.
Needless to say the Minister refused to give us a categoric assurance that the funding gap would be closed post review, refused our request for a Haringey Representative on the Funding Review Panel, refused to give us emergency funding until the gap is closed. However, she did concede the case that we made and assured us that our voices had been heard.
So – whist fair funding is still a way away – the key thing is – they can’t possibly claim they don’t know how badly Haringey is being affected by this funding unfairness – and they will look extremely bad if they don’t rectify matters.
The Schools Minister has agreed to a meeting with me in a couple of weeks time – so I can take up all the questions in my speech that were left unanswered and push further on the ones that were!